Get in Touch

Bridge City is Brought Back to Life

  • 25 May 2023
  • 1 min read
Ribbon cutting ceremony Futuregrowth

Bridge City Shopping Centre in KwaMashu, KwaZulu-Natal, owned by the Futuregrowth Community Property Fund (Comprop), officially reopened on 6 April 2023, following its closure in July 2021 as a result of extensive damage and looting during the nationwide riots that year.

A symbolic ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on the day prior to the opening. This was attended by several local dignitaries and Comprop investors, who were given a tour of the centre and details on the redevelopment.

The following day, the centre opened to the public at 9am, and by midday one of the stores had already achieved a turnover of R1.2 million. A total of 72 000 shoppers visited the centre on the opening day. The number of feet through the centre during the opening month is expected to reach 2.2 million, and then to taper off and settle at 1.4 million per month after that.

The iconic 40 000m2 regional shopping centre, which is managed by Capital Land Asset Management (Capital Land), originally opened in 2009 in the centre of Bridge City, a mixed-use precinct that connects the communities of Phoenix, Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu. It was developed with the objective of stimulating economic growth and empowering these communities through improved access to public transport, employment opportunities, services, and retail offerings.

“The July 2021 riots will forever remain in our memories as one of the most tragic events in South African history, with approximately 1 563 jobs lost at Bridge City Shopping Centre. We estimate that these jobs would have affected at least 10 000 lives in the communities of Phoenix, Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu, who are supported by the income earned by staff working at the centre. Both Futuregrowth and Capital Land set an immediate strategy after the riots had settled, to embark on restoring the economic support that Bridge City Shopping Centre provides these communities. One of the key priorities was to restore access to essential goods and services, which we did, with Superspar trading as early as June 2022, while the rest of the centre was being reconstructed. As President Nelson Mandela once said: ‘the greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall’ and we have risen with great glory today with the opening of Bridge City Shopping Centre.” Smital Rambhai, Portfolio Manager of Comprop during the opening ceremony.

The damage sustained to Bridge City Shopping Centre during the riots necessitated the full closure and internal reconstruction of the shopping centre.

Bridge City Shopping Centre is a double level, enclosed centre with anchor tenants Shoprite, Superspar and Woolworths positioned at each end of the shopping centre. The tenant mix has been strengthened through the strategic placement of existing and new tenants, as well as the establishment of fashion nodes, a banking hall on the upper level and a food court on the lower level. Free WiFi facilities are available throughout the centre, providing free access to the internet for the community.

The shopping centre has always been a catalyst for development in the precinct, and the construction has started on a new mixed use development including apartments and offices across the road.

Contemporary Aesthetics that are Modern, Light and Inviting

The new aesthetic concept of the reopened centre was inspired by Bridge City Shopping Centre’s location and use as a transport hub in KwaMashu, where retail intersects with transport in the form of a train station and a recently developed taxi rank. Railway sleeper and track details are prominent in the ceiling and floor tile design throughout the shopping centre.

Bridge City Shopping Centre is easily accessible via nine well-positioned entrances which accommodate shoppers accessing the centre on foot from the surrounding community, via public transport and in private vehicles. The main entrance to the shopping centre from the train station is located on the ground level and the newly established taxi rank provides commuters with convenient access directly into the shopping centre. The expansive roof top provides ample parking for customers travelling via private vehicles.

Comprop is a flagship fund amongst Futuregrowth Asset Management’s suite of developmental investments and has been existence for more than 25 years. All Comprop’s shopping centres are located in prime locations within townships and rural areas around the country. The Comprop portfolio comprises 23 shopping centres, with a total gross lettable area of more than 392 000m2, valued in excess of R6.6 billion.

* For further information about these projects, please visit Development and Community Impact.

Tags: Community Property Fund

Related Insights